By Rodolpho Leal Ferreira
Lawyer & Global Mobility Expert
Partner at BR-Visa
Brazil is a country of immense geographical proportions and one of its highlights is the long coastal region, with 7,400 kilometers with the Atlantic Ocean. This geographic proportion makes the Brazilian territory explores and receives vessels of different natures and with different purposes, especially from foreign origins. And the complexity of maritime operations in Brazil requires intense movement of Brazilian and foreign workers. For the latter, their work requires the application of work visas so that they can work in Brazilian territory, right? Not always.
The Brazilian legislation¹ that regulates the migration of foreigners provides that, in some cases, there is no need to apply for a work visa within the conditions established by law, and the migrant may enter with the appropriate Visit Visa (used for tourism and business).
A first scenario indicated in the legislation is that of professionals on board on long-distance trips, sea cruises or river trips along the Brazilian coast, who will be exempt from work visas for 180 days a year, provided they present a valid Seaman’s book.
In addition, vessels or platforms that are not specifically in the situations indicated above (for example, oil exploration platforms) may have their foreign on-board workers exempt from a work visa for a shorter period of up to 90 (ninety) days per year.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that vessels that uses the Brazilian flag or those classified in the above situations which will stay for a period longer than that indicated for visa exemption, must have their foreign crew members with the appropriate work visa.
The important thing is that each professional project that uses the operation of vessels in Brazilian waters, has a specialized evaluation of its details for the proper adequacy of its migration viability. The composition of professionals who use a work visa and others who will waive it can be established through a careful approach to the case.